In a ground-breaking initiative, Cranfield University hosted a pioneering UK visit by some of Kazakhstan’s brightest aeronautical students for a summer school taster session. A group of 36 specially selected teenagers, plus teachers, from Kazakhstan spent their time learning about science, aeronautical engineering and technology, during hands-on sessions at the Bedfordshire college. The week-long visit, which took place in August, was the first in what’s hoped will be an annual event known as the Republican Aerospace Competition for Schools.
High-ranking ambassadorial staff from the Kazakhstan government and embassy in London visited the students and told Aviation News how pleased they are to be working with the UK and Cranfield University on the project. Dr Erlan Begezhanov, Minister-Counsellor at the Embassy of Kazakhstan in London said: “As an embassy we are very supportive of such activities and we are glad to see that young people from Kazakhstan have come here to this very well organised programme.” He added: “We’ve seen the great facilities that our students are using at Cranfield, and think the academic syllabus prepared has been excellent. I think that it might be a life-changing experience for the young people involved.”
Anuar Aitkali, who at 15 was one of the youngest students involved, said: “This builds a foundation on what I want out of life. I wanted to be a mechanical engineer before I came here, but now I’m interested in becoming a pilot. I have enjoyed learning about aerodynamics and the forces acting on aircraft – lift, thrust, drag and weight. I knew some of the basics, but this will help me by giving me a lot more detailed information.”
During the stay at Cranfield the students attended lectures on air navigation, aero engines, aircraft carrier operations, and studied the university’s work in advanced aerodynamics. Field visits were made to the Cardington-based Airlander 10 airship, and to the Imperial War Museum Duxford. The Republican Aerospace Competition is supported by The Ministry of Justice, Air Astana, Samruk-Kazyna Trust, Nazabayev University, Schools Aerospace Challenge and Cranfield University.
The Kazakhstan team in front of Cranfield University’s recently repainted Boeing 737-400 G-DOCB. Via Cranfield University
All other images via Cranfield University